The English crew this year has exhibited in a very unusual space: a museum. The National Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo Da Vinci“, that I admit I never see in four years of my experience in Milan. So, come back in the city for the design week and discovered this place was great, I spent a while downstair, close to alumni of a schooltrip, watching life cycle of products and histories of materials. The venue remember us how human knowledge is huge and how during historic era the manufacturing is changed in more complex approach and automated way. There was the first industrial revolution, began in Britain in the textile and mettalurgic sector, with the in introduction of the steam engine. The second industrial revolution gained with the advent of electricity, chemicals and oil is considered to be the era of mass production with the formula of assembly line. Today the presence of humans in the traditional process has become less and less because the automated machines are doing in a more efficient way the “hard” job. We are able to produce an object in thousands of pieces at day with just few workers. In the design field, the sector with a target market very specific, this is not always a good thing. Experimentation and customization are value that are leading design and as we know the development of a new product costs thousands of pounds. Produce a mould is often too expensive for experimentation or short production. In the last decade with computer simulation and prototypes the process has got reliable tools for assuring that we can run the final step. Today, here we are, the machines that we use for prototyping are becoming suitable for industrial process. CnC milling, laser cut, 3D printer are developing in the direction of being used with materials for final products, and fast change of file submitted to be done.
At MOST we have an example with the event “The Great Stamp Giveaway”, which 400 lamps and 86 chairs have been manufactured during the fair by the TruPunch 3000, a machine that works without producing scrap skeleton. The machine works with CAD system that allow to program it with production drawings created in a quite simply way and analyzed and corrected by the system itself. The objects were made by metal sheet and gift away to the exhibition visitors in a flat pack. The visitor themselves have bended the sheets and have created their own design lamps. The role of the man, in this third industrial revolution, is all about the creation, the manufacturing is delegated to automated machines, and we are going towards much more individualised production than standard mass manufacturing. Tom Dixon, over than offer a vision of the future, has shown his latest projects in “Luminosity”. Fin series includes obround and round lamps and a light table which the functional elements are the structure and the shape themselves of the object. Etch, a series of candle holder and pendant light, comes from metal sheet bended after an industrial process used to produce electronic parts that allows to cut patterns directly on the material. Etch light web is a lamp that projects shadows owing by the unique structure designed of irregular pentagons, in anodised alluminium trough a process digital photo-acid etching.
Another interesting showcase at MOST was “Transnatural” where nature and technology are fused together for creating objects. The tree bench by Floris Wubben is composed by the seating in a wavy polypropylene attached with metal rods to the structure made by a wooden branch. As a consequence, the shape of the polypropylene is given by the shape of the branch. “Organic Factory” a collection of benches and stools by Ruben Thier are one off objects comes from industrial process. The liquid plastic overproduction that is dripping down from the machine is directly collected in molds that will be the seatings of benches and stools. The aim of the designer is to show the amount of “waste” is captured in furniture. As he declares the collection is growing, because production never stand still. The furniture comes with a serial number containing date, factory and machine.
Faye Toogood, a designer and stylist based in London, has showcased the Spade Chair. The lines and the shape of the object remember me the style of Giò Ponti, one of the master of italian design. The chair has a light weight and despite the thin structure is also comfortable. The designer declares to be inspired by rural life in the English countryside and the Spade is the juxtaposition of a three-legged milking stool and the handle of a gardening implement. At the Designersblock hub this year we saw Curl design by Constanze Schweda, a collection of one off table made by a single sheet of steel and cut and drawn in shape applying the Japanese art of Kirigami, usually for paper, to the steel.
And speaking about the Dignersblock…
Most of us, in our daily life, are been bothered by the time for the entire day. We are completely slaves of it: one hour lunchtime, timetables to follow, always in a rush because of the time. We don’t even notice how much we are influenced by time and the funny thing is that it is something that actually does not exists, it is something we “created” to have the situation under control, to live under a universal rule that we called time.
Myself first: I constantly live under the pressure of the time without thinking that it is up to me decide to slow down a bit and think about what I am doing and where I am, or to pay attention to something else but the time.
The Sasa Clock could represent a reminder for the most of us who live thier lives chasing the time instead of stop for a moment and think about that we are running because of something immaterial.
This necklace clock is, in fact, a long necklace of wooden beads placed over a turning carousel. As the carousel rotates, a bead slips down the cord every 5 minutes, the last bead to have dropped indicates the time.
As they told me when they showed me the product in Milan, part of Designersblock at MOST, during the Salone del Mobile, the Sasa Clock represents a particular way to live the time: “sometimes we need to completely liberate ourselves from the clock”, in this case, simply remove the necklace from the engine and wer it as a necklace.
Well..despite everything, personally I can’t stop to look at my clock and run for all the day, but at least DESTES clock by Thorunn Arnadottir gave us a nice and intelligent solution of how to look at the time, and if for a while we want to slow down we can literally “take our time”.
We will never stop the running time, but it is always up to us to live it in a different way.
More abou DESTES design.
by Anna D.